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Enter TIME, the Chorus.

I, that please some, try all, both joy and terror

Of good and bad, that makes and unfolds error,

Now take upon me, in the name of Time,

To use my wings. Impute it not a crime

To me or my swift passage, that I slide

O'er sixteen years and leave the growth untried

Of that wide gap, since it is in my power

To o'erthrow law and in one self-born hour

To plant and o'erwhelm custom. Let me pass (10)

The same I am, ere ancient'st order was

Or what is now received: I witness to

The times that brought them in; so shall I do

To the freshest things now reigning and make stale

The glistering of this present, as my tale

Now seems to it. Your patience this allowing,

I turn my glass and give my scene such growing

As you had slept between: Leontes leaving,

The effects of his fond jealousies so grieving

That he shuts up himself, imagine me, (20)

Gentle spectators, that I now may be

In fair Bohemia; and remember well,

I mentioned a son o' the king's, which Florizel

I now name to you; and with speed so pace

To speak of Perdita, now grown in grace

Equal with wondering: what of her ensues

I list not prophesy; but let Time's news

Be known when 'tis brought forth. A shepherd's daughter,

And what to her adheres, which follows after,

Is the argument of Time. Of this allow, (30)

If ever you have spent time worse ere now;

If never, yet that Time himself doth say

He wishes earnestly you never may. [Exit.


Bohemia. The palace of POLIXENES.

I pray thee, good Camillo, be no more
importunate: 'tis a sickness denying thee any
thing; a death to grant this.

It is fifteen years since I saw my
country: though I have for the most part
been aired abroad, I desire to lay my bones
there. Besides, the penitent king, my master,
hath sent for me; to whose feeling sorrows I
might be some allay, or I o'erween to think so, (10)
which is another spur to my departure.

As thou lovest me, Camillo, wipe not
out the rest of thy services by leaving me now:
the need I have of thee thine own goodness
hath made; better not to have had thee than
thus to want thee: thou, having made me businesses
which none without thee can sufficiently

manage, must either stay to execute them thyself

or take away with thee the very services
thou hast done; which if I have not enough
considered, as too much I cannot, to be more
thankful to thee shall be my study, and my
profit therein the heaping friendships. Of that
fatal country, Sicilia, prithee speak no more;

whose very naming punishes me with the remembrance

of that penitent, as thou callest
him, and reconciled king, my brother; whose
loss of his most precious queen and children
are even now to be afresh lamented. Say to

me, when sawest thou the Prince Florizel, my
son? Kings are no less unhappy, their issue
not being gracious, than they are in losing
them when they have approved their virtues.

Sir, it is three days since I saw the
prince. What his happier affairs may be, are
to me unknown: but I have missingly noted,
he is of late much retired from court and is
less frequent to his princely exercises than

formerly he hath appeared.

I have considered so much, Camillo,
and with some care; so far that I have eyes
under my service which look upon his removedness;
from whom I have this intelligence,
that he is seldom from the house of a

most homely shepherd; a man, they say, that
from very nothing, and beyond the imagination
of his neighbors, is grown into an unspeakable estate.

I have heard, sir, of such a man,
who hath a daughter of most rare note: the
report of her is extended more than can be (50)
thought to begin from such a cottage.

That 's likewise part of my intelligence;
but, I fear, the angle that plucks our
son thither. Thou shalt accompany us to the
place; where we will, not appearing what we
are, have some question with the shepherd;

from whose simplicity I think it not uneasy
to get the cause of my son's resort thither.
Prithee, be my present partner in this business,
and lay aside the thoughts of Sicilia.

I willingly obey your command.

My best Camillo! We must disguise
ourselves. [Exeunt.


A road near the Shepherd's cottage.
Enter AUTOLYCUS, singing.

When daffodils begin to peer,

With heigh! the doxy over the dale,

Why, then comes in the sweet o' the year;

For the red blood reigns in the winter's pale.

The white sheet bleaching on the hedge,

With heigh! the sweet birds, O, how they sing!

Doth set my pugging tooth on edge;

For a quart of ale is a dish for a king.

The lark, that tirra-lyra chants, (10)

With heigh! with heigh! the thrush and the jay,

Are summer songs for me and my aunts,

While we lie tumbling in the hay.

I have served Prince Florizel and in my time
wore three-pile; but now I am out of service:

But shall I go mourn for that, my dear?

The pale moon shines by night:

And when I wander here and there,

I then do most go right.

If tinkers may have leave to live, (20)

And bear the sow-skin budget,

Then my account I well may give,

And in the stocks avouch it.

My traffic is sheets; when the kite builds,
look to lesser linen. My father named me
Autolycus; who being, as I am, littered under
Mercury, was likewise a snapper-up of unconsidered
trifles. With die and drab I purchased
this caparison, and my revenue is the silly

cheat. Gallows and knock are too powerful
on the highway: beating and hanging are terrors
to me: for the life to come, I sleep out
the thought of it. A prize! a prize! Enter Clown.

Let me see: every 'leven wether tods;
every tod yields pound and odd shilling; fifteen
hundred shorn, what comes the wool to?

[Aside] If the springe hold, the cock's

I cannot do't without counters. Let
me see; what am I to buy for our sheep-shearing
feast? Three pound of sugar, five
pound of currants, rice,--what will this sister
of mine do with rice? But my father hath

made her mistress of the feast, and she lays
it on. She hath made me four and twenty nosegays
for the shearers, three-man-song-men all,
and very good ones; but they are most of them
means and bases; but one puritan amongst
them, and he sings psalms to hornpipes. I
must have saffron to color the warden pies;
mace; dates?--none, that's out of my note;
nutmegs, seven; a race or two of ginger, but
that I may beg; four pound of prunes, and
as many of raisins o' the sun.

O that ever I was born!
Grovelling on the ground.

I' the name of me--

O, help me, help me! pluck but off
these rags; and then, death, death!

Alack, poor soul! thou hast need of
more rags to lay on thee, rather than have
these off.

O sir, the loathsomeness of them offends
me more than the stripes I have received,
which are mighty ones and millions.

Alas, poor man! a million of beating (63)
may come to a great matter.

I am robbed, sir, and beaten; my
money and apparel ta'en from me, and these
detestable things put upon me.

What, by a horseman, or a footman?

A footman, sweet sir, a footman.

Indeed, he should be a footman by
the garments he has left with thee: if this be
a horseman's coat, it hath seen very hot service.
Lend me thy hand, I'll help thee: come,
lend me thy hand.

O, good sir, tenderly, O!

Alas, poor soul!

O, good sir, softly, good sir! I fear,
sir, my shoulder-blade is out.

How now! canst stand?

[Picking his pocket] Softly, dear sir;
good sir, softly. You ha' done me a charitable

Dost lack any money? I have a little (83)
money for thee.

No, good sweet sir; no I beseech
you, sir: I have a kinsman not past three
quarters of a mile hence, unto whom I was
going; I shall there have money, or any thing
I want: offer me no money, I pray you; that
kills my heart.

What manner of fellow was he that
robbed you?

A fellow, sir, that I have known to (92)
go about with troll-my-dames; I knew him
once a servant of the prince: I cannot tell,
good sir, for which of his virtues it was, but
he was certainly whipped out of the court.

His vices, you would say; there's no
virtue whipped out of the court: they cherish
it to make it stay there; and yet it will no
more but abide.

Vices, I would say, sir. I know this (101)
man well: he hath been since an ape-bearer;
then a process-server, a bailiff; then he compassed
a motion of the Prodigal Son, and married
a tinker's wife within a mile where my
land and living lies; and, having flown over
many knavish professions, he settled only in
rogue: some call him Autolycus.

Out upon him! prig, for my life, prig:
he haunts wakes, fairs and bear-baitings.

Very true, sir; he, sir, he; that's the
rogue that put me into this apparel.

Not a more cowardly rogue in all Bohemia: (113)
if you had but looked big and spit at
him, he'ld have run.

I must confess to you, sir, I am no
fighter: I am false of heart that way; and
that he knew, I warrant him.

How do you now?

Sweet sir, much better than I was; I
can stand and walk: I will even take my leave
of you, and pace softly towards my kinsman's.

Shall I bring thee on the way?

No, good-faced sir; no, sweet sir.

Then fare thee well: I must go buy
spices for our sheep-shearing.

Prosper you, sweet sir! [Exit Clown.]
Your purse is not hot enough to purchase your
spice. I'll be with you at your sheep-shearing
too: if I make not this cheat bring out another
and the shearers prove sheep, let me be unrolled

and my name put in the book of virtue!
[Sings] (132)

Jog on, jog on, the foot-path way,

And merrily hent the stile-a:

A merry heart goes all the day,

Your sad tires in a mile-a. [Exit.


The Shepherd's cottage.

These your unusual weeds to each part of you

Do give a life: no shepherdess, but Flora

Peering in April's front. This your sheep-shearing

Is as a meeting of the petty gods,

And you the queen on't.

Sir, my gracious lord,

To chide at your extremes it not becomes me:

O, pardon, that I name them! Your high self,

The gracious mark o' the land, you have obscured

With a swain's wearing, and me, poor lowly maid, (10)

Most goddess-like prank'd up: but that our feasts

In every mess have folly and the feeders

Digest it with a custom, I should blush

To see you so attired, sworn, I think,

To show myself a glass.

I bless the time

When my good falcon made her flight across

Thy father's ground.

Now Jove afford you cause!

To me the difference forges dread; your greatness

Hath not been used to fear. Even now I tremble

To think your father, by some accident,

Should pass this way as you did: O, the Fates!

How would he look, to see his work so noble

Vilely bound up? What would he say? Or how

Should I, in these my borrow'd flaunts, behold

The sternness of his presence?


Nothing but jollity. The gods themselves,

Humbling their deities to love, have taken

The shapes of beasts upon them: Jupiter

Became a bull, and bellow'd; the green Neptune

A ram, and bleated; and the fire-robed god, (30)

Golden Apollo, a poor humble swain,

As I seem now. Their transformations

Were never for a piece of beauty rarer,

Nor in a way so chaste, since my desires

Run not before mine honor, nor my lusts

Burn hotter than my faith.

O, but, sir,

Your resolution cannot hold, when 'tis

Opposed, as it must be, by the power of the king:

One of these two must be necessities,

Which then will speak, that you must change this purpose,

Or I my life. (40)

Thou dearest Perdita,

With these forced thoughts, I prithee, darken not

The mirth o' the feast. Or I'll be thine, my fair,

Or not my father's. For I cannot be

Mine own, nor any thing to any, if

I be not thine. To this I am most constant,

Though destiny say no. Be merry, gentle;

Strangle such thoughts as these with any thing

That you behold the while. Your guests are coming:

Lift up your countenance, as it were the day (50)

Of celebration of that nuptial which

We two have sworn shall come.

O lady Fortune,

Stand you auspicious!

See, your guests approach:

Address yourself to entertain them sprightly,

And let's be red with mirth. Enter Shepherd, Clown, MOPSA, DORCAS, and others, with POLIXENES and CAMILLO disguised.

Fie, daughter! when my old wife lived, upon

This day she was both pantler, butler, cook,

Both dame and servant; welcomed all, served all;

Would sing her song and dance her turn; now here,

At upper end o' the table, now i' the middle; (60)

On his shoulder, and his; her face o' fire

With labor and the thing she took to quench it,

She would to each one sip. You are retired,

As if you were a feasted one and not

The hostess of the meeting: pray you, bid

These unknown friends to's welcome; for it is

A way to make us better friends, more known.

Come, quench your blushes and present yourself

That which you are, mistress o' the feast: come on,

And bid us welcome to your sheep-shearing,

As your good flock shall prosper. (70)

[To Pol.]
Sir, welcome:

It is my father's will I should take on me

The hostess-ship o' the day.
[To Cam.]
You're welcome, sir.

Give me those flowers there, Dorcas. Reverend sirs,

For you there's rosemary and rue; these keep

Seeming and savor all the winter long:

Grace and remembrance be to you both,

And welcome to our shearing!


A fair one are you--well you fit our ages

With flowers of winter.

Sir, the year growing ancient,

Not yet on summer's death, nor on the birth

Of trembling winter, the fairest flowers o' the season

Are our carnations and streak'd gillyvors,

Which some call nature's bastards: of that kind

Our rustic garden's barren; and I care not

To get slips of them.

Wherefore, gentle maiden,

Do you neglect them?

For I have heard it said

There is an art which in their piedness shares

With great creating nature.

Say there be;

Yet nature is made better by no mean

But nature makes that mean; so, over that art (91)

Which you say adds to nature, is an art

That nature makes. You see, sweet maid, we marry

A gentler scion to the wildest stock,

And make conceive a bark of baser kind

By bud of nobler race: this is an art

Which does mend nature, change it rather, but

The art itself is nature.

So it is.

Then make your garden rich in gillyvors,

And do not call them bastards.

I'll not put

The dibble in earth to set one slip of them;

No more than were I painted I would wish

This youth should say 'twere well and only therefore

Desire to breed by me. Here's flowers for you;

Hot lavender, mints, savory, marjoram;

The marigold, that goes to bed wi' the sun

And with him rises weeping: these are flowers

Of middle summer, and I think they are given

To men of middle age. You're very welcome.

I should leave grazing, were I of your flock,

And only live by gazing. (110)

Out, alas!

You'ld be so lean, that blasts of January

Would blow you through and through. Now, my fair'st friend,

I would I had some flowers o' the spring that might

Become your time of day; and yours, and yours,

That wear upon your virgin branches yet

Your maidenheads growing: O Proserpina,

For the flowers now, that frighted thou let'st fall

From Dis's waggon! daffodils,

That come before the swallow dares, and take

The winds of March with beauty; violets dim, (121)

But sweeter than the lids of Juno's eyes

Or Cytherea's breath; pale primroses,

That die unmarried, ere they can behold

Bright Phoebus in his strength--a malady

Most incident to maids: bold oxlips and

The crown imperial; lilies of all kinds,

The flower-de-luce being one! O, these I lack,

To make you garlands of, and my sweet friend,

To strew him o'er and o'er!

What, like a corse? (130)

No, like a bank for love to lie and play on;

Not like a corse; or if, not to be buried,

But quick and in mine arms. Come, take your flowers:

Methinks I play as I have seen them do

In Whitsun pastorals: sure this robe of mine

Does change my disposition.

What you do

Still betters what is done. When you speak, sweet,

I'ld have you do it ever: when you sing

I'ld have you buy and sell so, so give alms,

Pray so; and, for the ordering your affairs, (140)

To sing them too: when you do dance, I wish you

A wave o' the sea, that you might ever do

Nothing but that; move still, still so,

And own no other function: each your doing,

So singular in each particular,

Crowns what you are doing in the present deed,

That all your acts are queens.

O Doricles,

Your praises are too large: but that your youth,

And the true blood which peepeth fairly through't,

Do plainly give you an unstain'd shepherd, (150)

With wisdom I might fear, my Doricles,

You woo'd me the false way.

I think you have

As little skill to fear as I have purpose

To put you to't. But come; our dance, I pray:

Your hand, my Perdita: so turtles pair,

That never mean to part.

I'll swear for 'em.

This is the prettiest low-born lass that ever

Ran on the green-sward: nothing she does or seems

But smacks of something greater than herself,

Too noble for this place.

He tells her something (160)

That makes her blood look out: good sooth, she is

The queen of curds and cream.

Come on, strike up!

Mopsa must be your mistress: marry, garlic,

To mend her kissing with!

Now, in good time!

Not a word, a word; we stand upon our manners.

Come, strike up! [Music. Here a dance of Shepherds and Shepherdesses.

Pray, good shepherd, what fair swain is this

Which dances with your daughter?

They call him Doricles; and boasts himself

To have a worthy feeding: but I have it (170)

Upon his own report and I believe it;

He looks like sooth. He says he loves my daughter:

I think so too; for never gazed the moon

Upon the water as he'll stand and read

As 'twere my daughter's eyes: and, to be plain,

I think there is not half a kiss to choose

Who loves another best.

She dances featly.

So she does any thing; though I report it,

That should be silent: if young Doricles

Do light upon her, she shall bring him that (180)

Which he not dreams of. Enter Servant.

O master, if you did but hear the
pedlar at the door, you would never dance
again after a tabor and pipe; no, the bagpipe
could not move you: he sings several tunes
faster than you'll tell money; he utters them
as he had eaten ballads and all men's ears
grew to his tunes.

He could never come better; he shall
come in. I love a ballad but even too well, if
it be doleful matter merrily set down, or a
very pleasant thing indeed and sung lamentably.

He hath songs for man or woman,
of all sizes; no milliner can so fit his customers
with gloves: he has the prettiest love-songs
for maids; so without bawdry, which is
strange; with such delicate burthens of dildos

and fadings, 'jump her and thump her;'
and where some stretch-mouthed rascal
would, as it were mean mischief and break a
foul gap into the matter, he makes the maid
to answer 'Whoop, do me no harm, good

man;' puts him off, slights him, with 'Whoop, (201)
do me no harm, good man.'

This is a brave fellow.

Believe me, thou talkest of an admirable
conceited fellow. Has he any unbraided

He hath ribbons of all the colors i'
the rainbow; points more than all the lawyers
in Bohemia can learnedly handle, though they
come to him by the gross: inkles, caddisses,
cambrics, lawns: why, he sings 'em over as
they were gods or goddesses; you would think
a smock were a she-angel, he so chants to the
sleeve-hand and the work about the square on't.

Prithee bring him in; and let him approach


Forewarn him that he use no scurrilous
words in's tunes. [Exit Servant.

You have of these pedlars, that have
more in them than you'ld think, sister.

Ay, good brother, or go about to think. Enter AUTOLYCUS, singing. (220)

Lawn as white as driven snow;

Cyprus black as e'er was crow;

Gloves as sweet as damask roses;

Masks for faces and for noses;

Bugle bracelet, necklace amber,

Perfume for a lady's chamber;

Golden quoifs and stomachers,

For my lads to give their dears:

Pins and poking-sticks of steel,

What maids lack from head to heel:

Come buy of me, come; come buy, come buy; (231)

Buy, lads, or else your lasses cry:
Come buy.

If I were not in love with Mopsa, thou
shouldst take no money of me; but being enthralled
as I am, it will also be the bondage of
certain ribbons and gloves.

I was promised them against the
feast; but they come not too late now.

He hath promised you more than that, (240)
or there be liars.

He hath paid you all he promised
you: may be, he has paid you more, which
will shame you to give him again.

Is there no manners left among
maids? will they wear their plackets where
they should bear their faces? Is there not
milking-time, when you are going to bed, or
kiln-hole, to whistle off these secrets, but you
must be tittle-tattling before all our guests?
'tis well they are whispering: clamor your (251)
tongues, and not a word more.

I have done. Come, you promised
me a tawdry-lace and a pair of sweet gloves.

Have I not told thee how I was cozened
by the way and lost all my money?

And indeed, sir, there are cozeners
abroad; therefore it behoves men to be wary.

Fear not thou, man, thou shalt lose
nothing here. (260)

I hope so, sir; for I have about me
many parcels of charge.

What hast here? ballads?

Pray now, buy some: I love a ballad
in print o' life, for then we are sure they are

Here's one to a very doleful tune, how
a usurer's wife was brought to bed of twenty
money-bags at a burthen and how she longed
to eat adders' heads and toads carbonadoed.

Is it true, think you? (270)

Very true, and but a month old.

Bless me from marrying a usurer!

Here's the midwife's name to't, one
Mistress Tale-porter, and five or six honest
wives that were present. Why should I carry
lies abroad?

Pray you now, buy it.

Come on, lay it by: and let's first see
moe ballads; we'll buy the other things anon.

Here's another ballad of a fish, that
appeared upon the coast on Wednesday the
fourscore of April, forty thousand fathom
above water, and sung his ballad against the
hard hearts of maids: it was thought she was
a woman and was turned into a cold fish for
she would not exchange flesh with one that
loved her; the ballad is very pitiful and as

Is it true too, think you?

Five justices' hand at it, and witnesses
more than my pack will hold. (290)

Lay it by too: another.

This is a merry ballad, but a very
pretty one.

Let's have some merry ones.

Why, this is a passing merry one and
goes to the tune of 'Two maids wooing a
man:' there's scarce a maid westward but she
sings it; 'tis in request, I can tell you.

We can both sing it: if thou'lt bear
a part, thou shalt hear; 'tis in three parts.

We had the tune on't a month ago.

I can bear my part; you must know
'tis my occupation; have at it with you. SONG.

Get you hence, for I must go

Where it fits not you to know.


O, whither?


It becomes thy oath full well,

Thou to me thy secrets tell.

Me too, let me go thither.

Or thou goest to the grange or mill. (310)

If to either, thou dost ill.


What, neither?


Thou hast sworn my love to be.

Thou hast sworn it more to me:

Then whither goest? say, whither?

We'll have this song out anon by ourselves:
my father and the gentlemen are in
sad talk, and we'll not trouble them. Come,
bring away thy pack after me. Wenches, I'll

buy for you both. Pedlar, let's have the first
choice. Follow me, girls. [Exit with Dorcas and Mopsa.

And you shall pay well for 'em.
[Follows singing.

Will you buy any tape,
Or lace for your cape,

My dainty duck, my dear-a?

Any silk, any thread,
Any toys for your head,

Of the new'st and finest, finest wear-a?

Come to the pedlar;
Money's a medler. (330)

That doth utter all men's ware-a. [Exit.
Re-enter Servant.

Master, there is three carters, three
shepherds, three neat-herds, three swine-herds,
that have made themselves all men of hair,
they call themselves Saltiers, and they have a
dance which the wenches say is a gallimaufry

of gambols, because they are not in't; but

they themselves are o' the mind, if it be not
too rough for some that know little but bowling, (339)
it will please plentifully.

Away! we'll none on't: here has
been too much homely foolery already. I
know, sir, we weary you.

You weary those that refresh us:
pray, let's see these four threes of herdsmen.

One three of them, by their own report,
sir, hath danced before the king; and
not the worst of the three but jumps twelve
foot and a half by the squier.

Leave your prating: since these good
men are pleased, let them come in; but quickly (351)

Why, they stay at door, sir. [Exit. Here a dance of twelve Satyrs.

O, father, you'll know more of that hereafter.

[To Cam.]
Is it not too far gone? 'Tis time to part them.

He's simple and tells much. [To Flor.]

How now, fair shepherd!

Your heart is full of something that does take

Your mind from feasting. Sooth, when I was young

And handed love as you do, I was wont

To load my she with knacks: I would have ransack'd (361)

The pedlar's silken treasury and have pour'd it

To her acceptance; you have let him go

And nothing marted with him. If your lass

Interpretation should abuse and call this

Your lack of love or bounty, you were straited

For a reply, at least if you make a care

Of happy holding her.

Old sir, I know

She prizes not such trifles as these are:

The gifts she looks from me are pack'd and lock'd

Up in my heart; which I have given already,

But not deliver'd. O, hear me breathe my life

Before this ancient sir, who it should seem,

Hath sometime loved! I take thy hand, this hand,

As soft as dove's down and as white as it

Or Ethiopian's tooth, or the fann'd snow that's bolted

By the northern blasts twice o'er.

What follows this?

How prettily the young swain seems to wash

The hand was fair before! I have put you out:

But to your protestation; let me hear

What you profess. (380)

Do, and be witness to't.

And this my neighbor too?

And he, and more

Than he, and men, the earth, the heavens, and all:

That, were crown'd the most imperial monarch,

Thereof most worthy, were I the fairest youth

That ever made eye swerve, had force and knowledge

More than was ever man's, I would not prize them

Without her love; for her employ them all;

Commend them and condemn them to her service

Or to their own perdition.

Fairly offer'd.

This shows a sound affection. (390)

But, my daughter.

Say you the like to him?

I cannot speak

So well, nothing so well; no, nor mean better:

By the pattern of mine own thoughts I cut out

The purity of his.

Take hands, a bargain!

And, friends unknown, you shall bear witness to't:

I give my daughter to him, and will make

Her portion equal his.

O, that must be

I' the virtue of your daughter: one being dead,

I shall have more than you can dream of yet;

Enough then for your wonder. But, come on,

Contract us 'fore those witnesses.

Come, your hand;

And, daughter, yours.

Soft, swain, awhile, beseech you;

Have you a father?

I have: but what of him?

Knows he of this?

He neither does nor shall.

Methinks a father

Is at the nuptial of his son a guest

That best becomes the table. Pray you once more,

Is not your father grown incapable

Of reasonable affairs? is he not stupid (410)

With age and altering rheums? can he speak? hear?

Know man from man? dispute his own estate?

Lies he not bed-rid? and again does nothing

But what he did being childish?

No, good sir;

He has his health and ampler strength indeed

Than most have of his age.

By my white beard,

You offer him, if this be so, a wrong

Something unfilial: reason my son

Should choose himself a wife, but as good reason

The father, all whose joy is nothing else

But fair posterity, should hold some counsel

In such a business. (420)

I yield all this;

But for some other reasons, my grave sir,

Which 'tis not fit you know, I not acquaint

My father of this business.

Let him know 't.

He shall not.

Prithee, let him.

No, he must not.

Let him, my son: he shall not need to grieve

At knowing of thy choice.

Come, come, he must not.

Mark our contract.

Mark your divorce, young sir. [Discovering himself.]

Whom son I dare not call; thou art too base

To be acknowledged: thou a sceptre's heir,

That thus affect'st a sheep-hook! Thou old traitor, (432)

I am sorry that by hanging thee I can

But shorten thy life one week. And thou, fresh piece

Of excellent witchcraft, who of force must know

The royal fool thou copest with,--

O, my heart!

I'll have thy beauty scratch'd with briers, and made

More homely than thy state. For thee, fond boy,

If I may ever know thou dost but sigh

That thou no more shalt see this knack, as never

I mean thou shalt, we'll bar thee from succession; (441)

Not hold thee of our blood, no, not our kin,

Far than Deucalion off: mark thou my words:

Follow us to the court. Thou churl, for this time,

Though full of our displeasure, yet we free thee

From the dead blow of it. And you, enchantment,--

Worthy enough a herdsman; yea, him too,

That makes himself, but for our honor therein,

Unworthy thee,--if ever henceforth thou

These rural latches to his entrance open,

Or hoop his body more with thy embraces, (451)

I will devise a death as cruel for thee

As thou art tender to't. [Exit.

Even here undone!

I was not much afeard; for once or twice

I was about to speak and tell him plainly,

The selfsame sun that shines upon his court

Hides not his visage from our cottage but

Looks on alike. Will't please you, sir, be gone ?

I told you what would come of this: beseech you,

Of your own state take care: this dream of mine,--

Being now awake, I'll queen it no inch farther,

But milk my ewes and weep.

Why, how now, father!

Speak ere thou diest.

I cannot speak, nor think,

Nor dare to know that which I know. O sir!

You have undone a man of fourscore three,

That thought to fill his grave in quiet, yea,

To die upon the bed my father died,

To lie close by his honest bones: but now

Some hangman must put on my shroud and lay me

Where no priest shovels in dust. O cursed wretch, (470)

That knew'st this was the prince, and wouldst adventure

To mingle faith with him! Undone! undone!

If I might die within this hour, I have lived

To die when I desire. [Exit.

Why look you so upon me?

I am but sorry, not afeard; delay'd,

But nothing alter'd: what I was, I am;

More straining on for plucking back, not following

My leash unwillingly.

Gracious my lord,

You know your father's temper: at this time

He will allow no speech, which I do guess

You do not purpose to him; and as hardly (481)

Will he endure your sight as yet, I fear:

Then, till the fury of his highness settle,

Come not before him.

I not purpose it.

I think, Camillo?

Even he, my lord.

How often have I told you 'twould be thus!

How often said, my dignity would last

But till 'twere known!

It cannot fail but by

The violation of my faith; and then

Let nature crush the sides o' the earth together

And mar the seeds within! Lift up thy looks: (491)

From my succession wipe me, father; I

Am heir to my affection.

Be advised.

I am, and by my fancy: if my reason

Will thereto be obedient, I have reason;

If not, my senses, better pleased with madness,

Do bid it welcome.

This is desperate, sir.

So call it: but it does fulfil my vow;

I needs must think it honesty. Camillo,

Not for Bohemia, nor the pomp that may (500)

Be thereat glean'd, for all the sun sees or

The close earth wombs or the profound sea hides

In unknown fathoms, will I break my oath

To this my fair beloved: therefore, I pray you,

As you have ever been my father's honor'd friend,

When he shall miss me,--as, in faith, I mean not

To see him any more,--cast your good counsels

Upon his passion: let myself and fortune

Tug for the time to come. This you may know

And so deliver, I am put to sea

With her whom here I cannot hold on shore; (511)

And most opportune to our need I have

A vessel rides fast by, but not prepared

For this design. What course I mean to hold

Shall nothing benefit your knowledge, nor

Concern me the reporting.

O my lord!

I would your spirit were easier for advice,

Or stronger for your need.

Hark, Perdita. [Drawing her aside.]

I'll hear you by and by.

He's irremoveable,

Resolved for flight. Now were I happy, if

His going I could frame to serve my turn,

Save him from danger, do him love and honor, (522)

Purchase the sight again of dear Sicilia

And that unhappy king, my master, whom

I so much thirst to see.

Now, good Camillo;

I am so fraught with curious business that

I leave out ceremony.

Sir, I think

You have heard of my poor services, i' the love

That I have borne your father?

Very nobly

Have you deserved: it is my father's music

To speak your deeds, not little of his care

To have them recompensed as thought on.

Well, my lord, (532)

If you may please to think I love the king,

And through him what is nearest to him, which is

Your gracious self, embrace but my direction:

If your more ponderous and settled project

May suffer alteration, on mine honor,

I'll point you where you shall have such receiving

As shall become your highness; where you may

Enjoy your mistress, from the whom, I see,

There's no disjunction to be made, but by--

As heavens forfend!--your ruin; marry her,

And, with my best endeavours in your absence,

Your discontenting father strive to qualify

And bring him up to liking.

How, Camillo,

May this, almost a miracle, be done?

That I may call thee something more than man

And after that trust to thee.

Have you thought on

A place whereto you'll go?

Not any yet:

But as the unthought-on accident is guilty

To what we wildly do, so we profess

Ourselves to be the slaves of chance and flies

Of every wind that blows. (552)

Then list to me:

This follows, if you will not change your purpose

But undergo this flight, make for Sicilia,

And there present yourself and your fair princess,

For so I see she must be, 'fore Leontes:

She shall be habited as it becomes

The partner of your bed. Methinks I see

Leontes opening his free arms and weeping

His welcomes forth; asks thee the son forgiveness, (561)

As 'twere i' the father's person; kisses the hands

Of your fresh princess; o'er and o'er divides him

'Twixt his unkindness and his kindness; the one

He chides to hell and bids the other grow

Faster than thought or time.

Worthy Camillo,

What color for my visitation shall I

Hold up before him?

Sent by the king your father

To greet him and to give him comforts. Sir,

The manner of your bearing towards him, with

What you as from your father shall deliver, (571)

Things known betwixt us three, I'll write you down:

The which shall point you forth at every sitting

What you must say; that he shall not perceive

But that you have your father's bosom there

And speak his very heart.

I am bound to you:

There is some sap in this.

A course more promising

Than a wild dedication of yourselves

To unpath'd waters, undream'd shores, most certain

To miseries enough; no hope to help you,

But as you shake off one to take another; (581)

Nothing so certain as your anchors, who

Do their best office, if they can but stay you

Where you'll be loath to be: besides you know

Prosperity's the very bond of love,

Whose fresh complexion and whose heart together

Affliction alters.

One of these is true:

I think affliction may subdue the cheek,

But not take in the mind.

Yea, say you so?

There shall not at your father's house these seven years

Be born another such.

My good Camillo, (591)

She is as forward of her breeding as

She is i' the rear our birth.

I cannot say 'tis pity

She lacks instructions, for she seems a mistress

To most that teach.

Your pardon, sir; for this

I'll blush you thanks.

My prettiest Perdita!

But O, the thorns we stand upon! Camillo,

Preserver of my father, now of me,

The medicine of our house, how shall we do?

We are not furnish'd like Bohemia's sop,

Nor shall appear in Sicilia.

My lord, (601)

Fear none of this: I think you know my fortunes

Do all lie there: it shall be so my care

To have you royally appointed as if

The scene you play were mine. For instance, sir,

That you may know you shall not want, one word. [They talk aside.

Ha, ha! what a fool Honesty is! and
Trust, his sworn brother, a very simple gentleman!
I have sold all my trumpery; not
a counterfeit stone, not a ribbon, glass, pomander,
brooch, table-book, ballad, knife, tape,
glove, shoe-tie, bracelet, horn-ring, to keep my
pack from fasting: they throng who should
buy first, as if my trinkets had been hallowed
and brought a benediction to the buyer: by
which means I saw whose purse was best in
picture; and what I saw, to my good use I remembered.
My clown, who wants but something

to be a reasonable man, grew so in
love with the wenches' song, that he would
not stir his pettitoes till he had both tune and
words; which so drew the rest of the herd to
me that all their other senses stuck in ears:
you might have pinched a placket, it was
senseless; 'twas nothing to geld a codpiece of
a purse; I could have filed keys off that hung
in chains: no hearing, no feeling, but my sir's
song, and admiring the nothing of it. So that
in this time of lethargy I picked and cut most
of their festival purses; and had not the old
man come in with a whoo-bub against his
daughter and the king's son and scared my
choughs from the chaff, I had not left a purse
alive in the whole army. [Camillo, Florizel, and Perdita come forward. (632)

Nay, but my letters, by this means being there

So soon as you arrive, shall clear that doubt.

And those that you'll procure from King Leontes--

Shall satisfy your father.

Happy be you!

All that you speak shows fair.

Who have we here? [Seeing Autolycus.

We'll make an instrument of this, omit

Nothing may give us aid.

If they have overheard me now, why,
hanging. (641)

How now, good fellow! why shakest
thou so? Fear not, man; here's no harm intended
to thee.

I am a poor fellow, sir.

Why, be so still; here's nobody will
steal that from thee: yet for the outside of thy
poverty we must make an exchange; therefore
discase thee instantly,--thou must think
there's a necessity in't,--and change garments

with this gentleman: though the pennyworth
on his side be the worst, yet hold thee, there's
some boot.

I am a poor fellow, sir.
[Aside] I know ye well enough.

Nay, prithee, dispatch: the gentleman
is half flayed already.

Are you in earnest, sir?
[Aside] I smell the trick on't.

Dispatch, I prithee.

Indeed, I have had earnest; but I (660)
cannot with conscience take it.

Unbuckle, unbuckle.
[Florizel and Autolycus exchange garments.

Fortunate mistress,--let my prophecy

Come home to ye!--you must retire yourself

Into some covert: take your sweetheart's hat

And pluck it o'er your brows, muffle your face,

Dismantle you, and, as you can, disliken

The truth of your own seeming; that you may--

For I do fear eyes over--to shipboard

Get undescried.

I see the play so lies

That I must bear a part. (670)

No remedy.

Have you done there?

Should I now meet my father,

He would not call me son.

Nay, you shall have no hat. [Giving it to Perdita.

Come, lady, come. Farewell, my friend.

Adieu, sir.

O Perdita, what have we twain forgot!

Pray you, a word.

What I do next, shall be to tell the king

Of this escape and whither they are bound;

Wherein my hope is I shall so prevail

To force him after: in whose company

I shall review Sicilia, for whose sight

I have a woman's longing.

Fortune speed us! (682)

Thus we set on, Camillo, to the sea-side.

The swifter speed the better. [Exeunt Florizel, Perdita, and Camillo.

I understand the business, I hear it:
to have an open ear, a quick eye, and a nimble
hand, is necessary for a cut-purse; a good
nose is requisite also, to smell out work for
the other senses. I see this is the time that
the unjust man doth thrive. What an exchange
had this been without boot! What a
boot is here with this exchange! Sure the
gods do this year connive at us, and we may

do any thing extempore. The prince himself
is about a piece of iniquity, stealing away
from his father with his clog at his heels: if
I thought it were a piece of honesty to acquaint
the king withal, I would not do't: I

hold it the more knavery to conceal it; and
therein am I constant to my profession. Re-enter Clown and Shepherd.

Aside, aside; here is more matter for a hot
brain: every lane's end, every shop, church,
session, hanging, yields a careful man work.

See, see; what a man you are now!
There is no other way but to tell the king
she's a changeling and none of your flesh and

Nay, but hear me.

Nay, but hear me.

Go to, then.

She being none of your flesh and (711)
blood, your flesh and blood has not offended
the king; and so your flesh and blood is not
to be punished by him. Show those things you
found about her, those secret things, all but

what she has with her: this being done, let
the law go whistle: I warrant you.

I will tell the king all, every word,
yea, and his son's pranks too; who, I may
say, is no honest man, neither to his father
nor to me, to go about to make me the king's (721)

Indeed, brother-in-law was the farthest
off you could have been to him and then
your blood had been the dearer by I know
how much an ounce.

[Aside] Very wisely, puppies!

Well, let us to the king: there is
that in this fardel will make him scratch his beard.

[Aside] I know not what impediment
this complaint may be to the flight of my master. (731)

Pray heartily he be at palace.

[Aside] Though I am not naturally
honest, I am so sometimes by chance: let me
pocket up my pedlar's excrement. [Takes off
his false beard.]
How now, rustics! whither
are you bound?

To the palace, an it like your worship.

Your affairs there, what, with whom,
the condition of that fardel, the place of your
dwelling, your names, your ages, of what having,
breeding, and any thing that is fitting to
be known, discover.

We are but plain fellows, sir.

A lie; you are rough and hairy. Let
me have no lying: it becomes none but tradesmen,
and they often give us soldiers the lie:
but we pay them for it with stamped coin,
not stabbing steel; therefore they do not give
us the lie.

Your worship had like to have given
us one, if you had not taken yourself with the

Are you a courtier, an't like you, sir?

Whether it like me or no, I am a
courtier. Seest thou not the air of the court
in these enfoldings? hath not my gait in it
the measure of the court? receives not thy
nose court-odor from me? reflect I not on thy

baseness court-contempt? Thinkest thou, for
that I insinuate, or toaze from thee thy
business, I am therefore no courtier? I am
courtier cap-a-pe; and one that will either
push on or pluck back thy business there:

whereupon I command thee to open thy affair.

My business, sir, is to the king.

What advocate hast thou to him?

I know not, an't like you.

Advocate's the court-word for a pheasant:
say you have none.

None, sir; I have no pheasant, cock (771)
nor hen.

How blessed are we that are not simple men!

Yet nature might have made me as these are,

Therefore I will not disdain.

This cannot be but a great courtier.

His garments are rich, but he wears
them not handsomely.

He seems to be the more noble in being
fantastical: a great man, I'll warrant; I (780)
know by the picking on's teeth.

The fardel there? what's i' the fardel?

Wherefore that box?

Sir, there lies such secrets in this
fardel and box, which none must know but
the king; and which he shall know within
this hour, if I may come to the speech of him.

Age, thou hast lost thy labor.

Why, sir?

The king is not at the palace; he is
gone aboard a new ship to purge melancholy
and air himself: for, if thou beest capable of
things serious, thou must know the king is
full of grief.

So 'tis said, sir; about his son, that
should have married a shepherd's daughter.

If that shepherd be not in hand-fast,
let him fly: the curses he shall have, the tortures
he shall feel, will break the back of man,
the heart of monster.

Think you so, sir?

Not he alone shall suffer what wit (801)
can make heavy and vengeance bitter; but
those that are germane to him, though removed
fifty times, shall all come under the
hangman: which though it be great pity, yet
it is necessary. An old sheep-whistling rogue,
a ram-tender, to offer to have his daughter
come into grace! Some say he shall be stoned;
but that death is too soft for him, say I: draw
our throne into a sheep-cote! all deaths are
too few, the sharpest too easy.

Has the old man e'er a son, sir, do (811)
you hear, an't like you, sir?

He has a son, who shall be flayed
alive; then 'nointed over with honey, set on
the head of a wasp's nest; then stand till he
be three quarters and a dram dead; then recovered
again with aqua-vitae or some other
hot infusion; then, raw as he is, and in the
hottest day prognostication proclaims, shall
he be set against a brick-wall, the sun looking
with a southward eye upon him, where
he is to behold him with flies blown to death.

But what talk we of these traitorly rascals,
whose miseries are to be smiled at, their offences
being so capital? Tell me, for you seem
to be honest plain men, what you have to
the king: being something gently considered,
I'll bring you where he is aboard, tender your
persons to his presence, whisper him in your
behalfs; and if it be in man besides the king (829)
to effect your suits, here is man shall do it.

He seems to be of great authority:
close with him, give him gold; and though
authority be a stubborn bear, yet he is oft led
by the nose with gold: show the inside of
your purse to the outside of his hand, and no
more ado. Remember 'stoned,' and 'flayed alive.'

An't please you, sir, to undertake
the business for us, here is that gold I have:
I'll make it as much more and leave this
young man in pawn till I bring it you.

After I have done what I promised?

Ay, sir.

Well, give me the moiety. Are you
a party in this business?

In some sort, sir: but though my case
be a pitiful one, I hope I shall not be flayed
out of it.

O, that's the case of the shepherd's
son: hang him, he'll be made an example.

Comfort, good comfort! We must to
the king and show our strange sights: he must
know 'tis none of your daughter nor my sister;
we are gone else. Sir, I will give you
as much as this old man does when the business

is performed, and remain, as he says,
your pawn till it be brought you.

I will trust you. Walk before toward
the sea-side; go on the right hand: I will but
look upon the hedge and follow you.

We are blest in this man, as I may
say, even blest.

Let's before as he bids us: he was
provided to do us good.
[Exeunt Shepherd and Clown.

If I had a mind to be honest, I see
Fortune would not suffer me: she drops
booties in my mouth. I am courted now with
a double occasion, gold and a means to do
the prince my master good; which who knows

how that may turn back to my advancement?
I will bring these two moles, these blind ones,
aboard him: if he think it fit to shore them
again and that the complaint they have to the
king concerns him nothing, let him call me
rogue for being so far officious; for I am

proof against that title and what shame else
belongs to't. To him will I present them:
there may be matter in it. [Exit.

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